“During lecture Dr. Spinner-Halev was talking about how Rousseau anticipated how the human race was superficial and we have a deep yearning to be talked about, and how everything we do isn’t really genuine,” Morningstar said.
Morningstar said he plans to use his flip phone for at least a couple of more months, but there are certain inconveniences that come with his current cellular device.
“We were rushing Franklin; I was taking pictures with my flip phone,” Morningstar said. “People will generally laugh at you.”
On a national scale, people are drawn to using flip phones because of the increased privacy they offer over more advanced technology.
Gary Kayye, a professor in the UNC School of Media and Journalism who specializes in technology and branding, said he thinks one reason someone would use a flip phone would be to prevent companies from gathering information about them.
“In addition (to) not tracking your usage of the phone, they are not tracked directly to you, so I think nationally that’s a pretty common reason to use flip phones,” Kayye said.
Most modern phones are equipped with the capabilities to surf the internet and use an array of apps, but a flip phone typically has a more limited capacity.
“When you’re using something not as a phone, the phone functionality of it isn’t as important,” Kayye said. “With a flip phone, it’s the only thing it does.”
Despite this, Conte said his friends back in D.C. have started viewing their iPhones as a hindrance. A cultural shift may occur as the price of smartphones continues to increase while their capability remains relatively stagnant.
Morningstar and others who have the made the transition don’t regret their choice; some even cite social benefits rather than feeling disconnected due to their decision.
“Normally your automatic crutch is to go for your phone and scroll through Instagram or Facebook” Morningstar said. “And now I’m forced to restart conversations — I’m more of a person.”
One of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett, prefers a flip phone. Other prominent figures feel similar: Lindsey Graham exclusively used a flip phone until just a few years ago.
The benefits of privacy, price and productivity are present — and people might not flip to modern technology anytime soon.
“It’s been a little bit frustrating, but overall it’s been more liberating,” Morningstar said.